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16-card GPU bangs-per-buck mega shoot out

We name the best GPUs for performance and price

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So here’s what we have done. We’ve taken almost all of the graphics cards that we used in the Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and AMD Radeon HD 4850/4870 reviews with the exception of cards like the PowerColor HD 2900 XT 1GB which we can't find it on sale today. Using price-comparison and retail sites lile PriceGrabber and Scan, we’ve found typical over-the-counter prices for the graphics cards. We’re not too hung up on the exact make and model, instead looking for a price that's representative of the graphics chip, clock speed and type of memory.

The first chart (below) shows the graphics cards in order of performance with dual Radeon HD 4850 in CrossFire at the top closely followed by GeForce 9800GX2, HD 3850 X2, GeForce GTX 280 and Radeon HD 4870 a distance behind. If we'd used high quality image settings for 3DMark06 that used anti-aliasing, you can bet the order would have shuffled around but we are sure that the same cards would have been at the top of the pile.

Reg Bangs Per Buck Chart

Longer bars are better

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